The Case for Diversity and Inclusion in 35+ Impressive Statistics

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We know that diversity is important — but just how important is it? There are many ways to quantify the impact that a diverse workforce can have on a company’s success. There’s ample research to show that diverse and inclusive businesses outperform their more homogenous counterparts across the metrics that matter: employee engagement, recruitment, and retention; customer loyalty; brand reputation; innovation; and profit, just to name a few. 

[Read more: 39+ Most Diverse Companies

These workplace diversity stats indicate how companies that are doing better by prioritizing diversity hiring and building an inclusive culture are achieving better results. 

Workplace diversity data

Workplace diversity within companies is often measured against national and global demographic trends — what are the primary characteristics of the labor force? Unsurprisingly, over the last ten years, there have been some big shifts in the demographics of the US workforce. 

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Overall diversity in the workplace statistics

  • The US workforce is getting older. By 2024, it’s projected that employees age 55+ will make up 24.8% of the workforce, as compared to 11.9% in 1994. (Deloitte)
Diversity in the workplace statistics: the us workforce is getting older. By 2024, it’s projected that employees age 55+ will make up 24. 8% of the workforce, as compared to 11. 9% in 1994. (deloitte)
Source: Deloitte
  • Women are expected to make up a larger portion of the overall US workforce; rising from 46.8% of the workforce in 2014 to 47.2% in 2024. (Deloitte)
  • Our workforce is getting increasingly diverse: By 2024, less than 60% of the US labor force is expected to be defined as “white non-Hispanic.” As recently as 1994, over 75% of the labor force fell into that category. (Deloitte)

Gender workplace diversity statistics 

  • Despite the fact that more women are entering the workforce, pay equity continues to lag. In 2019, women’s wages were 82% of those of male full-time wage and salary workers. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Pay disparity was even worse for Black and Hispanic women — though Asian women made more than their white counterparts. In 2019, White women ($840) earned 82% as much as Asians ($1,025); Blacks ($704) earned 69%; and Hispanics ($642) earned 63%. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Before COVID-19, women were making slow but positive progress in advancing to executive positions: between January 2015 and January 2020, representation of women in senior-vice-president positions increased from 23% to 28%; representation in the C-suite grew from 17% to 21%. (McKinsey)
  • Women are consistently being shut out from mid-level management positions. For every 100 men promoted to manager, only 85 women were promoted—and only 58 Black women and 71 Latinas were promoted. (McKinsey)
The case for diversity and inclusion in 35+ impressive statistics 1
Source: McKinsey
  • Companies with greater than 30% female executives were more likely to outperform those with 10% – 30% women executives. (McKinsey)
  • Gender diverse companies with above-average levels of employee engagement financially outperform companies with below-average diversity and engagement by 46% to 58%. (Gallup)

Ethnic and racial workplace diversity statistics

  • Since the 1970s, Black women have made up an increasing share of the Black labor force. In 2018, women made up 53% percent of the Black labor force. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
  • Black and Hispanic workers are chronically “underemployed” — referring to workers who work part-time but would rather have a full-time job, as well as those who are available for work but have not looked for work in the past four weeks (“marginally attached”).
    • Underemployment for Black and Hispanic workers was between 10% – 15%; compared to just over 5% for White workers. (Brookings)
  • In 2019, Black people only held 3.2% of the senior leadership roles at large companies in the U.S. and just 0.8% of all Fortune 500 CEO positions. (Coqual)
Ethnic and racial workplace diversity statistics: in 2019, black people only held 3. 2% of the senior leadership roles at large companies in the u. S. And just 0. 8% of all fortune 500 ceo positions. (coqual)
Source: Coqual

The importance of diversity to consumers, candidates, and employees

  • Consumers and job candidates alike are paying attention to a company’s stance on diversity. Employers that posted more about diversity on LinkedIn in 2020 received 26% more applications from women, compared to companies that posted less. (LinkedIn)
  • Nearly 70% of active and passive job seekers evaluate whether a company’s workforce is diverse before applying or accepting a job offer. (Glassdoor)
  • 57% of employees think their companies should be more diverse. (Glassdoor)
  • Consumers are more “multicultural” than ever: Nielsen estimates that Hispanics, African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and other ethnicities already make up 38% of the U.S. population, with Census projections showing that multicultural populations will become a numeric majority by 2044. (Nielsen)
  • Diverse companies are 70% more likely to capture new markets than those that have a lack of diversity. (Harvard Business Review)

Diversity statistics

Consumers and the labor force are more diverse than ever: yet diversity hiring continues to lag. How are companies re-thinking their hiring processes, office cultures, benefits, and incentives to embrace diversity and meet the needs of this new population? 

[Read more: 5 Reasons Why Hiring Diverse Candidates Is Still Hard In 2021]

Diversity hiring statistics 

  • “Indifference” (33%) and “lack of top-level commitment” (22%) are two of the biggest barriers to diversity hiring, according to one global survey. (SHRM)
  • Only 11% of companies are using AI technology to identify hard-to-reach candidate pools; 63% of companies aren’t currently using AI in any part of the hiring process. (SHRM)

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  • “Blind hiring” works: a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that all else being equal, resumes with “white-sounding” names received nearly 50% more callbacks than those with “black-sounding” names. (SHRM)
  • Another study found that blind auditions increased the likelihood that a woman would be hired by between 25 and 46%. (NYTimes)

[Read more: How To Avoid The 12 Kinds Of Hiring Bias In Your Recruitment Process

Employment diversity statistics 

  • The national GDP would increase by $25 billion if just 1% more disabled people were hired. (McKinsey)
  • “A 2013 study of veteran hiring, performance and turnover found that veterans, on average, perform at higher levels and are less likely to turnover, generating positive outcomes for businesses. The analysis showed that for a company of 1,000 employees with 25 percent veteran new hires, cost savings amounted to $325,000 per year.” (SHRM Foundation)
  • “Cognitive diversity” — diversity in thoughts, ideas, and values — can increase innovation by 20%. (Deloitte)
  • 75% of employees think more diversity is needed in their workplace. (Deloitte)

Benefits of diversity in the workplace statistics

  • Company profits and share performance can be close to 50% higher when women are well represented in senior leadership positions. (McKinsey)
  • More diverse companies had 19% higher innovation revenues. (Harvard Business Review)
  • Businesses with more racially and ethnically diverse workforces have a 35% performance advantage over those that are homogenous. (McKinsey)
  • Diversity drives better decisions: researchers found that diverse teams outperformed individual decision-makers in making a business decision up to 87% of the time. (People Management)
  • Companies in the top 25% for ethnic and cultural diversity were 36% more profitable than those in the bottom 25%. (McKinsey)
  • Businesses that report the highest levels of racial diversity achieved 15x the sales revenue compared to those with the least racial diversity in their teams. (Science Daily)

[Read more: The Ultimate Guide To Diversity Hiring In 2021

Inclusion statistics

Inclusion refers to the policies, procedures, and working environment that your company creates to make everyone in the workplace feel valued. It’s a measure of how well your business empowers a diverse workforce to be successful. Diversity without inclusion never leads to the stellar performance metrics that business leaders anticipate.  

[Read more: How To Measure Diversity, Equity, And Inclusion]  

Benefits of workplace inclusion statistics

  • In one survey, 80% of respondents said that inclusion was important when choosing an employer. (Deloitte)
  • 23% of respondents in that same survey said they have already left one company for a more inclusive one. (Deloitte)
Benefits of workplace inclusion statistics: in one survey, 80% of respondents said that inclusion was important when choosing an employer. (deloitte)
23% of respondents in that same survey said they have already left one company for a more inclusive one. (deloitte)
Source: Deloitte
  • 43% of companies are now offering holidays that allow employees to take time off based on their religion or cultural affiliation. (SHRM)
  • Inclusive teams outperform their peers by 80% in team-based assessments. (Deloitte Australia)
  • Inclusive companies had 2.3x higher cash flow per employee over a three-year period and were 1.7x more likely to be “innovation leaders” in their sector. (Bershin/Deloitte)

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